Category: Insight

Our clean energy predictions for 2020

EV fleet vans being charged

RenEnergy’s energy predictions for 2020

To mark the start of the new year, we’re sharing our clean energy predictions for 2020. Here’s what we think will be big in the world of solar and storage this year…

Majority of energy to come from renewables

In 2019, 48.5% of the UK’s electricity came from renewable sources. We anticipate this year will be even higher, with over half our energy being green.

We also think that the UK will go for longer periods without using fossil fuels. In 2019, the UK went almost three weeks without burning any coal. In 2020, we’d like to see that raise to a whole month.

Bigger and better batteries

We predict that improvements in battery technology will make solar and storage options even more popular. Not only are batteries becoming more effective, they are also becoming more affordable. Without the feed-in-tariff (or a battery), any solar energy not used in real-time is effectively wasted. A battery allows solar energy to be saved, and used outside of daylight hours. Solar plus storage is essential for those who want to operate off-grid, so better batteries will be particularly useful for our colleagues in South Africa. Their customers often need to maintain a steady energy supply to protect their homes and business in times of load-shedding.

However, it is worth mentioning that battery technology comes with some challenges. Mining for lithium (an essential ingredient in many batteries) can cause pollution and damage to local ecosystems. As public interest in environmentalism becomes increasingly passionate, we expect to hear more about this in 2020, too.

EV boom continues 

We think these improvements in batteries will continue to grow the adoption of electric vehicles. An improved EV battery allows the cars to retain more charge and achieve a better range. Likewise, the affordability of solar and storage may encourage more customers to choose an EV.

Great progress is already being made. In 2010, there were just 972 EVs on UK roads. At the end of last year, there were over 15,500. As EVs become a more mainstream option, the number of public and community EV charge points will increase too.

Innovation in solar panel design 

As well as updates to battery tech, we think there will be further developments to the composition of solar panels, improving their efficiency. For example, bifacial solar panels that absorb sunlight from both sides of the panel. Additionally, researchers are exploring alternatives to silicon, such as perovskite. While investigation into these options is ongoing, we don’t expect to see the products become available until the end of this year. However, we know our trusted technical partners are continually improving their products to ensure quality and effectiveness.

Smart Export Guarantee: not so smart

From 1 January 2020, the Smart Export Guarantee replaces the now-abolished feed-in-tariff. Under this scheme, customers with small arrays (under 5 MW) may receive a payment for exporting additional energy back to the grid. However, the scheme is not as generous as FIT and faces stricter regulations, allowing customers to export much less back to the grid. Our prediction is that the Smart Export Guarantee won’t make much of a difference. It may provide a small perk to domestic customers who don’t use all their generated electricity. But, the real benefit is saving on energy bills and fulfilling a commitment to environmentalism.

What are your clean energy predictions for 2020? Let us know on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.

RenEnergy proudly partners with the Spier Wine Estate, South Africa

Solar panels on roof of Spier wine estate

Our international arm, RenEnergy Africa, is the renewables partner for the Spier Wine Estate in South Africa.

RenEnergy is proud to be the renewables partner for the Spier Wine Estate: one of the oldest vineyards and wine estates in south Africa. Founded in 1682, the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch creates some of the world’s most-celebrated wines. Photo of spier wine estate building

RenEnergy Africa supplied and installed five solar panel systems on the Spier estate: on the hotel, conference facility, wine tasting rooms, finance office and wine cellar.

The Spier Wine Estate is committed to reducing its environmental impact, using minimal chemicals and recycling more than 98% of their solid waste. Our solar installation furthers this environmental commitment by minimising the estate’s reliance on fossil fuels.

Together, the five systems supply the farm with 40,630 kWh of electricity every year. This clean, solar energy saves 16,183.9kg of C02 every year.

Alexander Matthews, Spier Wine Estate, said:

“As our solar energy partner, RenEnergy is playing a crucial role in helping us to tread evermore lightly on our planet. They have installed three solar power systems and there are more to come. We greatly appreciate their team’s hard work, dedication, professionalism – as well as the commitment they share with us to a greener future.”

Our connection with the Spier Wine Estate goes further than our renewables partnership. We are lucky enough to be based in offices on the stunning Spier Estate. At our office, we also installed two solar ground arrays, and two roof arrays.

 

Christmas Hamper Competition: Terms & Conditions

christmas tree and baulbes on wooden background

We hope you enjoy entering our 2019 Christmas Hamper Competition.

Here are the terms and conditions:

  • The competition will run from 2 – 15 December 2019 (midnight to midnight)
  • Once all the entries are in, each entry will be assigned a number
  • We’ll then pick a random number using this random number bot
  • The entry corresponding to the picked number is the winner
  • The winner will be drawn at lunchtime on Monday 16 December and announced on our social media channels
  • We’ll also email the winner to let them know, plus arrange delivery of their hamper
  • UK entrants only: we can’t deliver any further than that before Christmas
  • Tickets are available for specific Norwich City games; we’ll arrange this when we contact the winner
  • Any questions, please email mtaylor@renenergy.co.uk

Enter the RenEnergy Christmas Hamper Competition 2019!

Christmas tree graphic: RenEnergy Christmas Hamper competition

RenEnergy Christmas Hamper Competition 2019

It’s no secret: 2019 has been a great year for RenEnergy. We installed our first solar carport for Aviva (with more on the way), as well as innovative solar systems for the likes of Norwich City Football Club, Natures Menu, and many more.

Since we’re so full of festive cheer, we’d like to celebrate by sharing a bit of it. Our 2019 Christmas hamper competition is now live!

One lucky person will receive a festive hamper, full of goodies from our fabulous customers and suppliers. That means most of the items were created using clean, solar power installed by RenEnergy. Here’s what you could win:

To be in with a chance of winning, enter using the form below. A winner will be drawn on Monday 16 December. See here for full terms and conditions.

Good Luck! And Merry Christmas 🙂

RenEnergy founder, Damian, quoted in Parking News

Photo of newspaper with parking news logo

Our founder and managing director, Damian Baker, is quoted in Parking News: trade publication for the parking and traffic management industry.

For once, we’re not talking about solar panels or solar carports! We feature in an article about how organisations can incorporate social values into their operations. While public sector bodies have Social Value Charters that commit them to CSR and staff wellbeing, many private sector companies do these under their own steam.

Screenshot of British Parking News article

Damian spoke to journalist, Sarah Juggins, about how RenEnergy incorporates social values into daily life. Here’s what he said:

“Like most private sector organisations, RenEnergy does not have a Social Values Charter. However, we do naturally incorporate a number of social values into our operations.

We use renewable energy to power and heat our offices, and earlier this year we completed an energy efficiency audit to reduce our overall energy consumption and carbon emissions. We also use our expertise as part of Norwich Community Solar: a cooperative that helps solar projects off the ground for community organisations (such as sports centres).

Internally, we offer extensive training for staff, and put employees through apprenticeships to upskill. We have a number of working parents on the team, so allow flexibility to accommodate their other commitments. As well as being in line with our company principles, these things simply make good business sense.”

You can read the full article online: check us out on page 16!

RenEnergy solar carport for Aviva achieves ‘highly commended’ at Solar & Storage Live Awards

newspaper image with solar power portal

Our solar carport for Aviva was ‘highly commended’ at the Solar & Storage Live Awards last week.

We were thrilled to be nominated for the ‘commercial solar project of the year’ at Solar Power Portal’s Solar & Storage Live Awards last week.

We didn’t win, but we’re thrilled to be highly commended by the judges. We’re very proud of our solar carport for Aviva, so it feels great to receive external recognition for the project.  More importantly, the team thoroughly enjoyed themselves at the awards ceremony at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.

Congratulations to the winners, Meadowhall Shopping Centre. We’ll be back next year to see if we can get another award under our belt.

Click here to read Solar Power Portal’s write-up of the awards.

RenEnergy and NCFC solar panel partnership featured in EDP

Blog banner: RenEnergy in EDP

Our solar installation for Norwich City FC’s training ground is featured in local news publication, the Eastern Daily Press.

The EDP has published an article on our recent solar roof installation at NCFC’s Lotus Training Centre. The work was completed as part of a £5m fan-funded redevelopment of the club’s training facilities.

Journalist, Caroline Culot, provided a great write-up of the project, as well as our new partnership with Norwich City FC. We’re sponsoring the team for the 2019/20 season as they take on the Premier League: read more about it here.

Screen shot of RenEnergy in the EDP newspaper

Our solar carport for Aviva Norwich featured in Parking News

RenEnergy’s solar carport at Aviva Horizon, Norwich is featured in the September issue of Parking News.

Parking News is the monthly publication for the British Parking Association: the trade body for the parking and traffic management profession. Back in July, we invited Sarah Juggins, journalist for Parking News, along to our open day at Aviva Horizon.

Turn to page 20 of the online publication to see Sarah’s write up of our Aviva solar carport project.

RenEnergy featured in Parking News

RenEnergy’s NCFC project featured in Solar Power Portal

Photo of newspaper with RenEnergy and Solar Power Portal logo

Thanks to Solar Power Portal for publishing an article about our recent installation at partnership with Norwich City Football Club.

We installed a double roof array at the club’s Lotus Training Centre as part of a £5m redevelopment.

Completing the installation as part of the ongoing work at Colney Lane minimised disruption at the site. The installation helps offset the unavoidable energy usage and C02 emissions associated with running a football club.

Ben Kensell, COO at Norwich City, added: “We are delighted to welcome on board RenEnergy. They have been able to offer us a renewable and long-lasting solution to our energy consumption at the Lotus Training Centre which falls directly in-line with the aim of lowering our carbon footprint.”

You can read the full article over on Solar Power Portal.

 

RenEnergy & partner Q-Cells featured in PV Europe

PV Europe has published an article about on our recent partnership project with Q-Cells. We completed a largest solar array at Natures Menu: the largest pet food manufacturer in Europe.

You can read the full article on the PV Europe website. 

Here’s a short excerpt from the article…

“The 522.6k kW array was constructed at the main production facility of Natures Menu, a British producer of high-quality pet food. This solar system is the largest in Europe to be built using Q CELLS’ Q.FLAT-G5, and generates solar electricity using 1,608 Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules.

Allied to a growing appetite nationwide for clean, renewable energy and greater energy independence is the simple fact that solar PV components are becoming more and more affordable by the day. The pet food production facility of Natures Menu will self-consume the solar electricity generated by the 522 kW array.

Developer RenEnergy finished construction of the rooftop array in July 2019. By utilizing the Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system, RenEnergy was able to streamline the installation process thanks to the Q.FLAT’s innovative design. The Q.FLAT-G5 has been proven to deliver a power density of 170 W/m².”

Solar + Power Management features RenEnergy and Q-Cells partnership

Solar Power + Management logo with newspaper and RenEnergy logo

Solar trade publication, Solar + Power Management, has profiled RenEnergy and Q-Cells recent solar installation at Natures Menu. This is the largest flat roof installation in Europe using Q-Cells’ mounting system.

You can read the full article online on the Solar + Power Management website.

Here’s just a taste of the piece…

“Damian Baker, Managing Director from RenEnergy, said: “We were delighted to once again partner with Q CELLS on the construction of the 522.6 kWp rooftop PV project for Natures Menu. We believe this installation is yet another encouraging example of UK businesses investing in green electricity, and taking control of their energy spend. By self-consuming the solar electricity onsite, and by using top-quality and competitively priced Q CELLS components, Natures Menu will enjoy an exceptional return on income right from the get-go.”

Sean Collier, Head of UK Sales for Q CELLS, added: “It is a pleasure to have supplied the Q.FLAT-G5 mounting system and Q.PEAK DUO-G5 modules to this project by RenEnergy. The UK solar market may not grab the headlines for record-breaking levels of solar installation like it used to, but in many ways we are even more encouraged by the way the market has evolved: it has become a sustainable growth industry packed with plenty of opportunities for a company like Q CELLS. The social capital of solar grows daily in the UK, and as the economics begin to make more and more sense, we expect solar to play an increasingly central role in the nation’s electricity sector over the coming decades.”

The UK’s solar sector is enjoying a more stable year in 2019 after having contracted in 2018, when new installations reached just 286 MW for the year (according to SolarPower Europe). Over the coming four-year period, however, SolarPower Europe expects close to 3 GW of additional capacity additions in the UK. This would represent sustained healthy growth for the market, and continued opportunities for Q CELLS, which was ranked as the UK market leader in 2018 according to EuPD Research’s Global PV InstallerMonitor 2018/2019 Survey.”

RenEnergy partners with NCFC for 2019-20 Premier League Season

RenEnergy and Norwich City FC logos

Following a solar installation at Norwich City FC’s training ground, we’ve furthered our support for the club by partnering with them for the 2019-20 season.

Earlier this year, we installed two solar PV systems on the roofs of the newly-built gym and academy at the Lotus Training Centre. This was part of the club’s £5m redevelopment of the training facilities.

While these new facilities are essential for the development of the club and the players, they add additional demand to an already energy-intensive site. Our solar panel installation allows the club to save money on their energy spend by generating their own clean, low carbon electricity.

The PV installation…

  • Uses 192 solar panels over the two roofs
  • Generates 57,596 kWh of energy every year – that’s enough to keep four floodlights lit for 174.5 games of football [1]
  • Saves 25,658 kg of C02 every year by generating clean energy [2]

 

Tom Lloyd with Ben Kensell

Our Sales Director, Tom Lloyd, with NCFC’s COO, Ben Kensell

Ben Kensell, Chief Operating Officer at Norwich City FC, said:

“We are delighted to welcome on board RenEnergy. They have been able to offer us a renewable and long-lasting solution to our energy consumption at the Lotus Training Centre which falls directly in-line with the aim of lowering our carbon footprint.”

RenEnergy is thrilled to be supporting Norwich City through their time in the Premier League, and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.

You can read the full press release on the Norwich City website.

 

[1] The exact performance of solar panels is difficult to predict, due to the variability in the amount of solar radiation (sunlight) from location to location and from year to year. These figures are based on Microgeneration Certification Standard (MCS) procedure and assume perfect conditions. These figures assume the use of four standard 55kW floodlights.

[2] Using an MCS approved carbon factor of 0.53.